The Sacramento Kings will have the 9th-best odds to win the No. 1 overall pick at 2021 NBA Draft Lottery after their tie with the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans was broken on Tuesday. The Kings will now go into the lottery with a 20.3% of breaking into the top-four and a 4.5% chance of winning the top pick.
The last time the Kings drafted in the top-10 was in 2018, when they infamously took Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic with the No. 2 overall pick. Over the last 10 years, the Kings have drafted in the top-10 nine times, including twice in 2017.
It’s no secret that the drafting was a point of weakness for the Kings under Vlade Divac, but their draft under Monte McNair couldn’t have gone better, at least in the lottery. Tyrese Haliburton, who fell to the Kings at No. 12 last year, is a finalist for Rookie of the Year and, as a result, will likely make the All-Rookie First Team. Haliburton averaged 13 points, 5.3 assists, 3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game in 58 appearances for the Kings in the 2020-21 season.
McNair will have the opportunity to build on his draft success in a deep class this year, but a few decisions will have to be made regarding the pieces around Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox first. For example, is Marvin Bagley III going to part of the team next season? If so, is his best position the 4 of the 5?
And what about Buddy Hield? Is he a piece worth keeping around for the rebuild, or is he just taking away playing time Haliburton could be getting in the back court next to Fox? Suffice to say, there’s a lot that needs to be figured out this offseason.
Generally speaking, though, the Kings should take the best player available. Outside of Fox and Haliburton, there’s no one on the roster that stands out as a star or a future star. The more players that they can add with a high ceiling, the closer they will be to ending their 15-year playoff drought, at least in theory.
The NBA Draft lottery will take place on June 22 and the NBA Draft will be held on July 29.